Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle for social change to achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalised people in Boston, USA and the Global South. Each year, they collect roughly 5,000 used bikes and tons of used parts from supporters in Greater Boston and New England.
Bikes are repurposed through their Youth Programs, where teens learn bicycle safety and mechanics skills while earning bikes to keep for themselves.
This room focuses on those who have benefited from the Youth Programme. The bikes in the room represent them, each telling their story in their own words.
This room is just about people, no action or reaction to a cause as such, but a room to tell individual stories of those for whom Bikes Not Bombs helped solve problems and turn things around.
Plinths are arranged randomly to come across as a more relaxed, less formal environment than how it would seem if arranged in regimented rows. Think of art galleries; art put around the room walls causes visitors to subconsciously follow a perceived correct direction with any bottlenecks causing some people to skip past exhibits.
It will also create interaction between visitors as they change their position around the stand.
The swing tags provide tactile contact, not just learning about the people through technology. It will break down the ‘do not touch’ barrier; it’s a real bike; you can turn the pedals, change the gears, and use the brakes.
The LED screen on the opposite side of the tag wall shows information about Bikes Not Bombs. Visitors control the content through a smaller touchscreen.
Walkthrough: Describing the key points and visual features of the room
Above: The view from the floor shows the bike stands and the swing tags hanging along the central wall.
Above: The view of the opposite side of the wall, the LED screen display.